“We need new generations to help create solutions to issues we’ve created in the past. We need more than economic return,” says Flor. “We need to care about nutrition, environment, biodiversity. It will require a different food system altogether.”
There is a consensus between the panelists that education is key. “We need to educate the kitchen staff to be creative and be able to use waste to create new dishes,” says Dadisi Olutosin, Co-Founder and Chief Culinary Officer of Plated Food Groupe.
“It can take 10 years to get maize to give you a 15-percent increase in productivity,” says Steiner, who previously worked in plant breeding. “And in one year you can get a 15-percent reduction in loss,” by implementing food loss mitigation strategies.
Rather than focus on features like storage and uniformity, by breeding for flavor and nutrition—as well as for specific farming regions—we can grow better food and build a better food system, says Barber.
Dr. Christian Andres discusses how information delivery can be optimized for smallholder farmers.
Based on Treasure Island in San Francisco, Treasure8 begins with leftover or ugly fruits and vegetables from farmers’ fields and unwanted produce from food processing facilities. “We can take these very large waste streams and we can upcycle them into safe, tasty, healthy products and ingredients that can work at large scale distribution.” Childs says.
“Once the awareness grows over what happens in the system producing food, we can’t help but start asking questions,” says Aubrey. “Food is a political act once you open your eyes to all of the systems that influence food workers and food production.”
On Food Talk, Washington Post columnist and James Beard Award-winning writer Tamar Haspel talks about her unconventional writing and its platform for cross-camp dialogue about hunger.
Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Tobias Grasso, President of North America for Sealed Air’s Food Care division about his relationship to food, passion for farmers, and vision for a stronger food system.
Fred Haberman’s marketing agency and aquaponics farm have helped push organic into the mainstream, leading the way for a more transparent food system and, little-by-little, reducing our dependence on chemical agriculture.